Our guest this week is is the VP of Business Development at BleacherReport.com, David Nemetz.
B/R kicked off the BwB3 experience with a bang, hosting our kickoff party with flowing Guiness at The Fifty/50. David was then a member of the Localization panel at the main event, and we expand a bit on that conversation.
Since its inception, Bleacher Report has gone through a number of tweaks and facelifts, none more significant than the recent addition of Brian Grey, formerly of Yahoo and Fox Sports, as their new CEO.
We talk with David on a number of topics pertaining to B/R’s position in the industry, its benefits to its members and where it goes next.
We kick the show off this week with a very pointed voicemail we received from the incomparable Softball Guy, who was not all that thrilled with our guest selection this week: Matt Sebek from our podcasting partners JoeSportsFan.com.
Long before partnering up on the Internets waves, JoeSportsFan was a everyday read for HHR.
Matt’s experience as an online programmer has helped take the site’s brand to a new level of online media that includes blogging, and the incorporation of both audio and video.
About a month ago, JSF launched JoeSportsFanSTL.com which focuses on sports in the site’s home town of St. Louis, and puts out a weekly Basketball Jones-esq video segment covering the latest hot topics surrounding the city’s teams and athletes in the offbeat tone JSF fans have come to know and love.
The city-centric, or “hyper-local,” approach to online sports coverage is one we have been keeping a close eye on leading up to BwB3 in light of national companies like ESPN and Comcast, and regional ones like NESN and SNY going full force into blogging and multimedia/online platforms. We talk about how this could affect team and city-based sites, including the new JSF STL.
The guys that run the site have also dabbled in AM radio, and Matt talks about the advantages to working online as opposed to the terrestrial waves.
For any aspiring podcasters, and those bloggers looking to attempt video, this week is a must listen, as Matt let’s you know from his experience what steps you can take to make your show(s) better and differentiate them from the field that is rapidly saturating.
Lucas has long been an advocate that the future of sports blogging lies in content producers adopting more than just the written word and dabbling in audio and video. We kick off the week talking a little about some folks who do the latter quite well.
Our ballsy blog of the week belongs to our good friends at The Global Sports Fraternity who did an absolute phenomenal job creating original, entertaining content at the Super Bowl in Miami.
Most notably, GSF’s Henry Lowenfels gave Lions QB Matt Stafford the business at the Gatorade Fitness Lab.
Best is the co-founder (with his brother Zach, a web designer) and senior editor of the FanSided.com sports network as well as the site that launched the network, Arrowhead Addict.
What sets FanSided apart from its competitors is the family-like business approach that Adam has taken to advancing it. Adam talks about the progression from blogging on his Chiefs site to creating the original make-up of FanSided as an NFL blog network to one encompassing multi-sports and housing 135 different sites. He taps into the importance of forging strategic partnerships, like he has with Yardbarker.com/Fox Sports and CBS Sports.
Today marks the triumphant return of the Ballsy Blog of the Week, which fittingly goes to the quartet of Chad Ochocinco, Chris Cooley, Ray Rice and Darnell Docket for their unprecedented news team coverage along with Jake & Amir during Super Bowl week. we highlight it for the fact that not only is the group (collectively known as the OCNN News Team) downright hilarious, but the project’s sponsor – Motoblur – does an amazing job integrating their product into the viral videos in a manner that compliments, rather than takes away, from the videos’ entertainment value.
I have seen the future. Take note, advertisers.
Staying in Miami, we bring on on-location guest Joe Fortenbaugh of National Football Post to talk Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, trade rumors, McNabb/Favre speculation and how the site and its unique staff have quickly become an inside source for pro football news, analysis and insight.
Prior to joining on with NFP full-time and focusing on fantasy football posts, Joe worked as an NFL agent at JB Sports for three years while earning his degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.
This week we focus on sports fans and are joined by not one, but two very special guests.
First, we talk with Hollywood royalty – actor Scott Caan, son of James and admittedly most known for his roll as Tweeder in Varsity Blues. (This is actually the second person from the film we have had on the show, having talked with director Mike Tollin back in October).
Scott is one of the official spokespeople for Monster.com’s NFL Fandemonium initiative.
For the second year, “Monster and the NFL have teamed to find the DOF, this year expanding the promotion to allow fans to participate in deciding who becomes the next Director of Fandemonium. The DOF promotion inspires the most zealous football fans to compete for the dream “job” of serving as a fan ambassador for Monster and the NFL with special access at a series of marquee events throughout the 2010 NFL season.”
The events in which the new DOF will have the opportunity to play a key role include:
NFL Draft: Announce a pick at the 2010 NFL Draft (April 2010)
NFL Kickoff: Act as backstage talent wrangler at the 2010 NFL Kickoff concert (September 2010)
NFL International Series: Participate in on-field introductions at the 2010 International Series Game (October 2010)
NFL Thanksgiving: Serve as an on-field broadcast liaison for the NFL Network 2010 Thanksgiving Game (November 2010)
NFL Super Bowl: Join the coin toss ceremony at Super Bowl XLV (February 2011)
NFL Pro Bowl: Select a play from the sidelines during the 2010 Pro Bowl (January/February 2011)
Publish blog posts on NFL.com and meet with top NFL executives
We talk with Scott about his involvement with the program, his career and his own athletic upbringing.
Next we are joined by former Clinton White House, Congress staffer David Goodfriend who heads up the bi-partisan sports fan advocacy group, Sports Fan Coalition (SFC). The SFC is the American sports fan’s advocate in the Washington, D.C. public policy arena and around the country for a fair return to the fans for public resources used in sports; and fair access to sporting events at the game and in the media.
With David we talk about how and why it started, what its focus is, and of whom is it comprised. We also discuss specific issues the coalition is addressing including the Comcast/NBC merger and blackouts, specifically in regard to how these things directly affect fan and whether the Coalition (as an extension of fans themselves) have real power in affecting the outcome of business decisions and public policy.
Goodfriend is also co-host of “Left Jab” on XM Satellite Radio and was a co-founder and EVP/General Counsel of Air America Radio.
Without further ado, we finally tip our hand and offer a few details on the location and time for Blogs With Balls 3.0. Listen to the podcast to find out where and when, and sign up for more information on the BwB Site.
The book makes its official release on January 19, so go get yourself one.
This week’s guest is John Christie, who serves in the dual role of EVP of Content Partnership with XOS Digital and as General Manager of the SEC Digital Network.
The company and conference made waves last summer when the New York Times ran a piece that highlighted their seemingly restrictive policy that made it difficult for bloggers and fans alike to share and distribute SEC content.
Since that time, we’ve followed the SEC’s progression and the role XOS has played in it on the Blogs With Balls blog, and have also maintained a steady and honest dialect with the company’s representatives. We also conferred with some top college football bloggers to get their thoughts. Most noted the lack of functionality and embeddablity of video and accused the SEC as serving as a clearinghouse, and hoarding and filtering content.
While the SEC’s policy may not be at the level bloggers would like to see it, John indicates that it is constantly evolving and they are taking feedback seriously.
A first step they say is the recent availability of the SEC Digital Video Widget. Christie tells us about what the widget entails and specifically if and how it might address these previous blogger criticisms.
We appreciate his willingness to address bloggers’ concerns head-on, and we came away with better understanding of both why and how the policies are being implemented.
“It was never about keeping the content from the fans. It was about developing that comprehensive strategy to get it out there to the fans through all these different mechanisms.”
TBL’s combination of news, opinion, media oversight and pop culture has enabled Jason to position it as one of the most popular independent sports blogs on the web, and parlay it into a full-time career – with a little help from the likes of Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd.
He talks about the site’s creation and growth, his personal background and the role it’s played in TBL’s success, and addresses the online tit-for-tat that comes with its success.
In a nod to the site’s marriage of sports and entertainment, we’ve Skyped him up with “Name that Celebrathlete.”
Our guest this week is ESPN.com columnist, First Take regular and Twitter superstar Jemele Hill.
Known for her frankness, online accessibility and iron-clad stomach that puts up with Skip Bayless on a regular basis, we ask her about all three of those things, as well as her climb up the professional ladder, the hurdles of being a female sports journalist in a male-dominated environment and get her take on the “best of 2009.”
She names-names on her daily blog reads and favorite Tweeters. A Motor City native and a diehard Tigs fan, we Skype her up with “Name that Tiger.”
Lucas is South of the border this week, so we get a pinch hit from HHR co-founder @ChrisIlluminati.
Chris has a harem of sites that we talk about, but also will soon be a published author with his NSFW-titled A**holeology that’s due out in January.
Our guest is MetsBlog.com‘s Matthew Cerrone. Matthew is a full-time blogger who, despite an advertising agreement between the site and the New York sports cable station SNY, fully owns his product with complete editorial control over content.
Cerrone talks about how he was able to turn what started as a hobby and a way to follow his team when living out of market into his full-time job. We also talk about the Mets’ prospects for this coming season and their focus during the current Winter Meetings.
This isn’t ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.
True to his word, Chris found a blog with (16 lb.) balls – The BM Report – a bowling blog that isn’t overly-saturated with Big Lebowski references and is actually informative.
Sadly, he doesn’t drop any “Donny” quotes on me.
We have an awesome guest this week – FanHouse.com‘s Kevin Blackistone.
In addition to being a national columnist and commentator at FanHouse, he is a regular panelist on ESPN’s “Around The Horn,” is a former award-winning sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News, and is the Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
We come out of the chute getting KB’s take on the Tiger PR fiasco, and also talk about his perspective on the changing sports journalism landscape and how it has affected not only those currently in the field, but how the next generation of reporters has to prepare for it.
We get a very interesting perspective on sports and media from author, producer, columnist, speaker and professor Dave Hollander. After going from music promotion to interviewing various legendary sports figures (whom we quiz him on in Skyped Up) and compiling the conversations in 52 Weeks: Interviews with Champions!, Hollander has been a columnist for AOL Sports, The Huffington Post, SI.com, New York Press, Interview and Penthouse (among others).
He is also an adjunct professor at the New York University Tisch Center for Sports Management, where he teaches a graduate course on Sports Management that “focuses on the marketing concepts and strategies involved in developing and implementing initiatives for sports and leisure products” with emphasis “placed on positioning, programming sub-strategy, distribution, pricing strategies, regional sports networks, managing media, the Internet, building relevance for younger generations, and the unique nature of non-profit marketing.”
It’s a very candid conversation on what journalism as a whole has become and an uncensored look at online media from someone who has both practiced in the medium and teaches about its relationship to marketing.
You should remember him for the fantastic work he puts out on RedsArmy.com.
Reds Army is continually evolving and bettering itself and has become a standard-bearer for team-oriented sites. In addition to posts, John and cohort Chuck “talk Celtics, the NBA, and whatever else come to mind” on Blog Talk Radio’s The Two-Man Game, and John is 1/8 of the The 8th Seed Podcast.
This week we dig into a big issue always on the minds of sports bloggers – monetization.
We talk with Rich Gallagher, Senior Account Executive for Digital & Emerging Media at Taylor, a “sports, lifestyle and entertainment public relations firm” that has been very active in engaging sports blogs in promoting its clients.
One of those brands – Diageo Liquors (whose portfolio includes Guinness, Captain Morgan and Cuervo) was an early and energetic part of both or our Blogs With Balls events. We talk about what the brands are looking for in online partners, how they see the value in events like BwB, and we touch a little on the FTC’s new online disclosure guidelines.
Rich shows just how forward-thinking some brands and firms can be in embracing online media.
Making its triumphant return along with us is the Ballsy Blog of the Week. This week we profile FanDuel.com. While not a blog, per se, the site definitely has a set of stones.
Somehow managing to get itself (and more specifically – fantasy sports as a whole) classified as games of chance rather than gambling, the site allows users to win cash money doing what guys do anyway – playing fantasy sports.
What’s more, is you don’t have to wait (or even play) an entire season for a payout – you pay to play by the game.
First, pick your fantasy team based on which players you think will score the most fantasy league points during the upcoming NFL or MLB games (MLB games are daily and NFL are weekly)…Once you’ve picked your players you should order your draft by clicking on each player and dragging it into position. Then you order your selection ready for the competitive draft with your opponent. [Note: NBA & NHL now available]
2. Set your entry fee and choose an opponent
Select who you want to go head-to-head with (either a real-life friend or a Fanduel buddy,or even your whole fantasy league!), how much you want the entry fee to be and send them your challenge. The draft takes place and we’ll email you your final roster- and you can see your opponent’s team too.
3. Get paid instantly when you win
Then sit back and watch the real-time stats roll in for both your team and your opponent’s team as the action begins. The team which scores the most fantasy points by the end of the day is the winner – and walks away with the cash prize!
Pete goes into some detail about the deal, the relationship between marketers and bloggers, the current focus of Yardbarker and some of the new features that will be available through the portal in the near future.
We put him Skyped Up with “Name That Barker” where we see if he can identify some of the athletes in his site’s stable of stars.
What started out as an idea to have a bunch of people from Blogs with Balls and Blog World network over the felt, turned into one of the best charity events any of us could have imagined.
Annie Duke was gracious enough to let a bunch of bloggers use her name to promote a poker game we decided to run in Vegas — and of course, turn the event into the Blogs with Balls Charity Poker Shootout where we raised $10,000 for Ante Up for Africa.
Dan catches up with Annie to recap and promote the event and charity, and talk politics and poker On the DL.
On October 22, BwB NY panelist Sarah Spain was a guest on “Bengals Roundtable” on WLW 700 The Big One in Cincinnati, co-hosted by BwB Vegas speaker John Thornton, to talk about this week’s Bears v. Bengals game. Audio below.
Tollin’s resume also includes sports classics Ready to Rumble (executive producer), Varsity Blues (producer) and Lucas favorite, Summer Catch (producer).
We talk about the one-man firestorm Mike caused in Trump Towers recently, as well as his distinction as the USFL’s equivalent to NFL Films, the ongoing relationships he has with primary figures and players associated with the league and other aspects of his distinguished career.
On Thursday, Tollin will be co-hosting the Blogs With Balls/BlogWorld Expo “ESPN Zone 30 For 30 VIP After Party” with ESPN.com editor-in-chief Rob King. That event will feature a sneak peak of “Small Potatoes” and will include dinner and an open bar courtesy of Diageo Liquors. If you are going to BwB/BWE and haven’t already RSVP’d, do so soon as space is quickly filling.
Once again, we get into an in-depth conversation with our guest and have to cut the beginning of the show short.
We have a phenomenal conversation and go “Skyped Up” with ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Rob King, who talks about his role, True Hoop, NFL Blog Network, ESPN Local, “What does Bill Simmons have to do to get fired,” and more.
Tickets are still only $100 for the whole shebang.
If you’re out there and are interested in joining us at an exclusive, space-limited ESPN after-party featuring free booze, food and game cards courtesy of the WWL, drop us a line. The party will be co-hosted by Rob and Who Killed the USFL? director Mike Tollin.
Changing up the show’s format this week as we get right down to brss tax with guest Dan Levy – host of On the DL Podcast, BwB 1.0 veteran, moderator at BwB 2.0 in Vegas and organizer of the “Blogs with Balls Charity Poker Shootout” featuring Annie Duke and some of the top pro poker players in the world.
Before hyping up the tourney, Levy talks about two things he knows best – podcasting and marketing. Lucas then flips the tables and puts Dan “on the DL” during “Skyped Up.”
This week’s Blog With Balls is DudePerfect.com, a trick basketball shot site recently featured on BwB 2.0 Panelist JE Skeet’s Ball Don’t Lie blog at Yahoo! Among the interest in the site is the proprietor’s unique way of using it to raise charitable funds.
Our guest this week is the new Senior Editor of BwB 1.0 sponsor SB Nation, Chris Mottram – renowned athlete stalker, one half of Mister Irrelevant’s Brothers Mottram and formerly of Fanhouse and The Sporting Blog. Chris discusses his journey from student to blogger to his staring role with some of the web’s foremost sports news and opinion outlets, as well as the revamped SB Nation and its position among blog networks. He also takes a crack at naming that DC sports figure/personality in this week’s edition of “Skyped Up.” This week’s links of interest:
We highlight our Blog with Balls of the week, Radovich’s Revenge, a blog authored by a lawyer who has the stones to break down the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement in layman’s terms (and with humor).
Today our guest is Mitch Germann (@MCG5), Vice President of Business Communications with Maloof Sports & Entertainment (Sacramento Kings and Monarchs), and panelist on the “Access” panel at Blogs With Balls.
With Mitch we preview some of the topics that the Access panel will address, including, among other things, dealing with players using social media as representatives of the teams/company and the receptiveness of the Kings and NBA to embrace members of the new media.
The team has worked hard to engage local blogs and went so far as to invite them to preseason work outs and intend to invite them to media day and training camp with the ultimate goal of credentialing them for games.
“We have just recognized through observing this space that there’s some blogs in Sacramento that work hard and that cover the team…There’s a lot of interaction, there’s a lot of comments, a lot of fans are loyal to those sites and really as an organization our philosophy is that we want to be where our fans are We don’t expect to hold everyone hostage and make everyone come to Kings.com for what they want.”
Of course, no guest appearance would be complete without challenging them to a game of “Skyped Up.” We see how well Mitch knows his “kings.”
Today we tease our flubbed conversation with John McEnroe. Don’t worry – we will salvage it.
He spoke with us about a number of things including his guitar playing, Wilmbledon dream matches, the future of the sport and more. But mainly he was on to promote prostate cancer awareness as an ambassador for “Stand Up 2 Cancer.”
Admittedly we ramble on for a bit in the beginning, but an early point we are trying to make is that credibility is among the most important qualities to have online. We hope the reason we were able to bring so many top online sports influencers together for both BwB 1 &2 is due to the fact that we have taken the time to build and cultivate relationships, are genuinely sincere and honest, and have created a track record.
As such, we tried to make this a recurring theme appears throughout the program.
We had a ton of fun talking about this week’s Ballsy Blog of the Week – our good friends at WhoDeyRevolution.com.
“An estimated 6,500 fans showed up for the annual scrimmage. Soon after it started, a small plane flew overhead towing a banner that read: “101-187-1 … HIRE A GM!” That’s the Bengals’ record since 1991, when Mike Brown took control of the team after his father’s death.
Brown functions as the team’s de facto general manager. He was sitting on a patio next to the press box, watching the scrimmage, when the banner flew overhead. The Bengals have had only one winning season during Brown’s 18 years of running the team.”
Also, ProFootballTalk gave Project Mayhem Task #9 a in their AFC North One-Liners.
Our guest this week is author, entrepreneur and former college standout/Arena League player Lewis Howes.
Howes literally wrote the book on online networking (LinkedWorking) and has used its techniques to establish an unmatched network of sports executives across the country.
Lewis talks about the importance of building relationships, trust and a brand identity online and offline.
Of course, we couldn’t let him go without testing his familiarity with “relationship experts” on this week’s “Skyped Up” segment.
Welcome to the premier of Blogs With Balls Radio on the Joe Sports Fan Radio Network.
Over the past few weeks on our regular installment of the “JoeSportsFan Show”, we teased the fact that big news was coming down the podcasting pipeline here on JoeSportsFan.com. Yesterday, you saw the initiation of this news as our own Patrick Imig and Jason Major debuted their first weekly show entitled, “The Steel Cage”.
Today, we’re happy to announce a partnership of sorts with respected cohorts that will deliver complementary content to our own internal lineup. Without further ado, we’re pleased to unveil the “JoeSportsFan Radio Network“.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the team.
Poulter’s site is no small reflection of the confidence he has in his game and his style.
We also have our first guest of the show, NCAA All-American from West Virginia, former 2nd round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans, former Cincinnati Bengals captain, and Founder & Co-CEO of JockBiz.com, John Thornton (@JohnThornton).
In his post-playing career, John blogs at AllProBlogger.com and offers full-service consulting for players in everything from nutrition and dieting to social media development at Jock Biz.
We are also honored to have John join Mike Germano (President, Carrot Creative), Pete Vlastelica (CEO, Yardbarker.com), Ron Wechsler (VP Series Production and Development, ESPN) on the “Connecting Directly” Panel at BwB2, where the group will look at what athletes being able to speak directly to their fanbase via blogs & Twitter means to sports media, bloggers, and fans.
John offers a preview of the discussion on today’s show.
Regarding how the media, namely those covering the Bengals, see their roles changing as guys like Chad Ochocinco circumvent the traditional athletes and take their message directly to fans:
“The media people that we talked to they were all sort of afraid for their jobs because they feel like they’re going to get cut out. Chad was actually on that panel and he said he wants to cut the middle man out because he’s been portrayed in a certain way…
I think the role of the media initially was to cover the game. Whether you’re supposed to tell what happened, but I think over time the media got so much power and they start to give their own opinions, their personal opinions. Now…the media has to reinvent themselves. You got to use social media…
You can’t be afraid of the athletes Tweeting or using their blogs or Facebook, you know whatever. You just gotta use it. You got to find a way to reinvent yourselves because it’s not just the newspapers anymore. Everybody’s online. Everybody’s on their cell phones. You just got to use that and incorporate it into your own story.”
Regarding how players interact, specifically those John consults with or is familiar with:
“We really try to let the guys know hey it’s cool to have fun, it’s cool to put yourself out there, but – you know – it’s public…
But then there’s guys that don’t care. There’s guys that I played with that I follow on Twitter that I’m like, ‘Why are you saying that? Why are you talking like that?’ But its really, its how they are…”
This is your public image…”
Finally, we put John on the spot for a game we dubbed “Skyped Up” where we see just how familiar he is with the sports personalities his clients potentially have to interact with.
Look for more great things to come both with our show (which will be available each Wednesday), as well as the other personalities that will be announced on the JSF Radio Network in days and weeks to come.